Colors and their meanings have always intrigued me. A fleeting purple sky, a blue moon and fuchsia rain are imaginative visuals that can be rendered in the mind or on canvas to create out of this world scenarios, but in reality we are often faced with less thrilling colors.
Lately the themes of green and gray have been popping up around me and actually gave me the idea for this post. I was walking leisurely one day and noticed an abandoned lot. It was filled with gray gravel, most likely to eliminate the growth of weeds, but not to be outdone, the weeds were bursting through those rocks with a vengeance. Upon seeing that, it reminded me of my journey to become a published author. Now when we think of weeds we usually dwell on the negative. Unsightly and un-pretty, they can take a stranglehold over gardens, lawns and walkways and throw our carefully manicured existence into disarray. But if we look closer at weeds there is positivity to be found. To me a weed is a neglected plant longing for attention. Look at me! It seems to say. It never gives up! The persistence of a weed is legendary! No matter what chemicals you use, or how many times you pull them up they always seem to rise up again.
Just like weeds, we should always be POSITIVELY persistent about our art. As writers and artists, we were born to be told no so we could defy the odds. I recently made a decision to self-publish my novel as some of you are aware. I had finally made peace with myself that my writing was good enough to be sent out into the world even if an agent or a publisher had not yet agreed with my assessment. It actually felt good to be seizing control over my work. My mind was where it should be, in a positive place and moving forward. So pardon my surprise when this week I learned that my manuscript is being considered by a small press publisher! I had sent my novel to them a while back and had forgotten about it. Now I'm a "finalist" in a group of six other writers that may get the chance to be nurtured and published.
I wasn't even sure how to take the news. I was shocked and thrilled of course, but it made me go deep into analysis mode to think about why this was happening now. I have concluded that once I released the negative energy I was holding around being "rejected" by the establishment, it allowed new energy to come in. I stopped focusing on why someone didn't want me and put my attention on how I could still achieve my goals in spite of it. I was a weed poking through gravel!
Another green and gray theme of sorts also recently came to mind as I was watching my grand "old" Boston Celtics battle for position in the NBA Playoffs. In 2008 they were a team with vigor as three future hall of fame players (Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett & Ray Allen) converged after some blockbuster trades brought them all together to play on the same team. They won the championship that year and realized dreams that they all had been longing for their whole careers. The color of the team uniform is green which symbolizes growth, health and vitality and the mascot is Lucky the Leprechaun. How is that for a theme? Now four years later, after being plagued by injuries and some streams of "bad luck," they are trying to deny the notion that they are old and gray and too slow to run with the young legs of other teams. What I've learned from watching my favorite team is this, they too are like weeds, rising up when all around them thought they were dead.
It remains to be seen if the Celtics will win another championship this year or if I will garner a spot on that small press author roster, but all be revealed in time. I do know this about the both of us, we will never say die, we won't give up and we will always stay true to our talent. It's never easy being green, but when we refuse to fold, we stand out brightly in between the shades of gray.
NOTE: I will keep you posted about the status of the small press publisher. Stay tuned!
POST DISCUSSION: When was the last time your persistence paid off? Share with us!